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924 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

From the BBC and the Discovery Channel, producers of Planet Earth and The Blue Planet: Seas of Life, comes the newest landmark natural history series, Life. In Planet Earth, we brought you the world as you’ve never seen it before. Now, get closer with Life. Four years in the making, filmed over 3000 days, across every continent and in every habitat, with breathtaking new high definition filming techniques not available for Planet Earth, Life presents 130 incredible stories from the frontiers of the natural world, 54 of which have never been filmed before. Packed with excitement, revelation and entertainment, this remarkable 11-part blockbuster, narrated by Oprah Winfrey, captures unprecedented, astonishingly beautiful sequences and demonstrates the spectacular and extraordinary tactics animals and plants have developed to stay alive.

DVD Features:
Deleted Scenes
Music Only Track

Aided by breathtaking high-definition cinematography, the enthralling BBC series Life (from the makers of Planet Earth) explores the more colorful strategies the world's creatures employ to procreate, evade predators, and obtain nourishment. Cameras travel though the air, under the water, and right into the faces of insects, like the alien visage of the stalk-eyed fly. Except for "Challenges of Life" and "Hunters and Hunted," each episode covers a different category, such as mammals and birds. Among the more memorable images: three cheetahs move with the relentless rhythm of mobsters, a school of flying fish glides through the air with the grace of ballerinas, and a Jesus Christ lizard skips across the water, like, well, you know. The strangest sights range from a pebble toad bouncing away from a spider like a rubber ball and brown-tufted capuchin monkeys pounding palm nuts with stone tools like the apes in 2001: A Space Odyssey.

If the sound effects seem overamped, George Fenton's score is always on the money, adding humor and suspense at crucial moments (martial drums for the mud skippers, woozy brass for the Darwin's beetle). Nonetheless, delicate sensibilities may find some sequences disturbing, as when Komodo dragons feed on a water buffalo or when a leopard seal dines on a penguin. More often, the filmmakers capture the moment of impact before moving on. The set comes complete with 10 featurettes on the four-year production. This edition is narrated by Oprah Winfrey; the BBC edition is narrated by Sir David Attenborough. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Stills from Life (Click for larger image)

Special Features

The 10-episode miniseries on four discs
The Making of Life, narrated by Oprah Winfrey
Making-of segment for each episode, narrated by David Attenborough
Deleted scenes
Option to play without narration

Product Details

  • Actors: Oprah Winfrey
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Box set, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: June 1, 2010
  • Run Time: 586 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (924 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0039UTDA6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,150 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Life" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

433 of 457 people found the following review helpful By Zev Toledano on January 8, 2010
Format: Blu-ray
Over the past two decades, the BBC Natural History Unit has become a prolific documentary factory of the highest order, with ever-improving skills and increasing dedication. Some of their productions are relatively minor, but this is one of their flagships, and you can tell this because they use David Attenborough as the narrator (who is still in top form).

The theme for this 10-part series is the challenges of life and how various animals and plants solve them. This includes unusual and extreme food gathering techniques, hunting strategies, surprising evolutionary weapons and defenses, adaptations to harsh environments, mating rituals, and the lengths they go to in order to pick the right breeding partners.

Each episode covers this vast topic in specific areas: The first episode is an overview and top-20 hit parade of the upcoming episodes. Each of the ensuing episodes then cover a branch of the animal kingdom, including reptiles, insects, mammals, plants, birds, fish, with additional specialized episodes covering hunting, sea-life and primates.

This will obviously overlap with many of their previous releases, especially The Trials of Life, Attenborough's series covering the animal kingdom, and even The Living Planet and Planet Earth. But their approach here is interestingly well-chosen: Previously covered footage and educational information is usually summarized, before continuing with the more obscure, the upgraded, and the exciting new details.
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814 of 881 people found the following review helpful By Darren Meyer on March 20, 2010
Format: Blu-ray
The Life series is fantastic, but it comes in two versions -- this one, narrated by Oprah Winfrey for the US market; and the original version as narrated by the naturalist David Attenborough.

While the cinematography remains unchanged, Oprah's narration lacks the depth that Attenborough's years of experience as both naturalist and narrator brings to the table. I strongly recommend waiting for the US release of the original BBC version, narrated by David Attenborough.
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768 of 834 people found the following review helpful By K.H. on March 21, 2010
Format: Blu-ray
This is atrocious. I'm watching "Life" on Discovery channel right now, with Oprah narrating. Some of the reviewers said that the script was re-written for her, and I can believe it. I can't believe Attenborough saying lines like "hunting crab seals is toooo much work!" Oprah narrates this thing as if she were reading a bedtime story to little kids and comes off as snarky and condescending. In the opening segment, she's discussing a fox chasing an ibex kid and it's basically like "heeeere comes the fox! UH OH!!"

The most embarrassing thing is that I'm thinking that British people think that Americans demanded this. Who's going to be doing the next special, Dr. Phil? "Oh-kaaay, here comes the alee-gaytor, it's prey tries to run, but that neeeever works! HAW HAW HAW!" Don't get this. Get the real version.
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402 of 440 people found the following review helpful By Bilingual Illiterate on March 20, 2010
Format: Blu-ray
Why on earth have they decided to dub the documentary into American English baffles me. Is British English appallingly obscure and incomprehensible?

First Harry Potter and now this. What a shameful way to undermine language for the sake of a couple of bucks?

I have various BBC Documentaries - I LOVE them, and despite the fact that I am not British I understand everything, and David Attenborough's voice in much more credible, isn't this what he does professionally?

Oprah would probably be more suitable for bedtime story recordings for sleepy youngsters.

I suggest getting the original David Attenborough version (Check the star rating and compare!)
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256 of 282 people found the following review helpful By baron von hofmann on April 1, 2010
Format: Blu-ray
I have seen the first two in this series in both the Attenborough and Oprah narrations. The Attenborough version is, of course, the better of the two.
While there is a general idea (at least among American anti-intellectuals) that scientists are boring, uptight, fuddy-duddies, the truth is that the well-educated populizers of science, such as Attenborough, still hold a very dear place in the hearts of a very large group of people in America who have not yet gone bat guano crazy. The reason why a man like Sir David Attenborough is so well esteemed among enthusiasts of nature documentary, whereas Oprah Winfrey is not, is because when one devotes their entire life to the understanding of a certain topic they are able to bring a wonder-filled enthusiasm, backed by a substantial knowledge, to that topic. Most of us are not looking for a "Wow...Look...nature is cool!" sort of commentary. We already understand that. We wish for someone to fill us with the wonder of understanding. The only thing that separates humankind from the animals in these documentaries is that we are truly *thinking* about them. Why stare, slack-jawed, as if nature were a train wreck while ludicrously under-qualified talk show hosts point and extrapolate the obvious when we can spend that time in awe while actually learning? This documentary is one of the finest ever made, but only the BBC version is worth consideration.
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Life on Blu-ray and DVD narrated by either Oprah or Attenborough
David Attenborough!!! why listen to Oprah when she knows nothing about wildlife or anything else for that matter
Mar 20, 2010 by G. Hopman |  See all 16 posts
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